Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 26 (ANI): Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday inducted Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers into the RCB Hall of Fame as a mark of respect and retired the jerseys of Villiers (17) and Gayle (333) forever from its roster.
RCB returned to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium after a gap of three years in the most remarkable of ways -- the cracking RCB Unbox 2.0 for the fans. It is a celebration of the 12th man army, the loyal fan base of the RCB who could not experience a game day at the stadium for the past three years.
The fans were allowed to watch the full squad practice of RCB, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the T20, accompanied by RCB brand launches and the fans also witnessed the coming back of two cricketers who are now part of the RCB folklore -- Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers.
"First of all, a big thanks to RCB for inducting me into the Hall Of Fame. I have so many fun memories of playing at the Chinnaswamy Stadium for the RCB. It feels like a homecoming for me and it was a delight for me to reconnect with the team, the players and above all the fans. The RCB, RCB chant will always stay with me," said Chris Gayle.
"It is a massively touching gesture by RCB to induct me into the Hall Of Fame and it has a very special place in my heart. I have missed the atmosphere at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, and it was enthralling for me to relieve all those experiences once more during the RCB Unbox," said AB De Villiers.
The stadium was packed to the rafters with live music beats by Sonu Nigam and Jason Derulo followed by the arrival of Virat Kohli, Faf Du Plessis, ABD and Chris Gayle were greeted with thundering cheers and the iconic chant -- RCB, RCB.
"I am quite excited to welcome back fans to the stadium after 3 years. It was such an exhilarating experience to practice in front of some amazing fans as part of the RCB Unbox. It was also thrilling to welcome back AB and Chris for their special day, and it was awesome to feel the energy," said RCB captain Faf du Plessis.
RCB will start their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season with a match against Mumbai Indians (MI) at their home arena, M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. (ANI)